Battery maintenance

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"Sons of Arthritus"
Jan 14, 2004
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Battery maintenance is an on going problem around my place. I have a few that won't reach full charge, approx. 9.5v. after several days on the tender.
Is there anything I can do to shock these things to life. Maybe an addtitive, or a big amp charge for a short time?
Any suggestions??
Timely question. It's winter battery maintenance season here, which means periodic charging since the bikes can only be run, at best, once a month.

But how long should I charge and at what rate? I have a generic charger that can be set for 10 amps, 2 amps, or 200 ma. I know not to use the 10 amp setting (duh) but would perhaps the 200 ma setting be ok? And how long should it be charged? Or should I go spend some more money on an automated charger?

What I've read so far about charging batteries has just left me more confused :? (sorry for the "me too" post!)

What I know about electricity can be summed up thus: resistance = volts/amps.

However, as a rule a low amp charge is preferable to a higher one. The problem with using higher amps to charge a battery is gasing, heat and plate warpage. No good for a battery. I would use the 200ma setting and charge for 24 hours every two weeks.

Regarding damaged batteries, if the plates are warped, it's toast. If the plates are OK then you may be able to repair the battery. Reportedly, you drain and clean the batterery and then refill with acid. I've never done this only heard about it.

Hello all,
If the battery won’t take a charge replace it! You will never get any reliability out of it! Once you get a new battery use a battery tender! Wal-Mart sells one for $14.99. I place all of my motorcycle, and lawn tractor batteries on the tender for a day every couple of weeks. Most of my batteries last 5-6 years. The 200Ma setting should be fine for a maintenance charge, the slower the better. As Jason said high amperage will cause the electrolyte to boil, and warp the plates. It could also cause any sediment trapped on the bottom of the case to be dislodge, and fall in between the plates which will short out that particular cell.
Hi Guys
I used an Optimate to charge my very discharged battery,it takes awhile but it has restored it

69 fastback (owned 34yrs:)
Ha ha !
Anyone run one of these products? (without a battery that is..). I accept the wisdom of running a battery, nonetheless, I am interested in hearing any feedback.

Boyer Single Phase 
Replaces Rectifier and Zener Diode
Plus Has a Capacitor for Running Without a Battery
Plus Has Charging Indicator Capacity

Mity Three Phase
Replaces Rectifier and Zener Diode
On Bikes with Three Phase Alternators
Plus Has a Capacitor for Running Without a Battery

You know how I feel on this subject! :p
If you can't get more than 9.5V after several days you probably have a bad cell. If the cell sulfates and the plates are shorted out, you will not be able to recover it. Some have had luck with draining the acid, flushing and refilling with new acid, but at best this will leave you with a battery with less amperage than before. My best advice is to keep the battery charged with a good float charger (battery tender). I use a five gang battery tender and pull the batteries out of the bikes and hook them up on the bench. Watch the fluid level and top off with distilled water. For the BMW and the 850 Interstate, I use individual battery tenders as I leave the batteries in to be ready for that occasional nice winter day. The Deltran Battery Tender is a good product, but I'm sure there are others just as good.

Alternatively, a friend just buys a new Taiwanese battery for his pre-MkIII Commandos each spring. These can usually be bought for less than $30 and last all season.
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